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Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, & Dismissed Hardcover – February 28, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gurwitch's popular Web site (www.firedbyannabellegurwitch.com) entices people to turn in their best tales of their worst firings; the cream of that crop is gathered in this star-studded collection of misery. The book is divided into chapters with titles like "The Job So Terrible You Can Only Hope to Be Fired" and "The Time You Deserved to Be Fired," but mostly it's just tales of horrible things happening to funny people. Gurwitch's own piece—in which she's canned from her role in a play written and directed by an officious Woody Allen, who told her "You look retarded"—is par for the course, with its droll humor and dash of celebrity. Comedians Bill Maher, D.L. Hughley, Bob Saget and Andy Borowitz all get in their zingers, while Illeana Douglas composes a poem that ranges from getting fired as a coat check girl ("How is it/possible to be fired hanging coats?/I have arms. I know what coats are") to high farce with borderline psychotic filmmakers. The few noncelebrities invited to share their woes are generally less funny, though they tend to be more unpredictable, such as the ex–White House chef who provides a nice recipe for seared scallops. (Mar. 7)
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Review

"Sometimes the best revenge is losing well." -- New York Times

"Trump may have popularized the phrase "You're fired," but he certainly hasn't made it any easier to hear. [Gurwitch] is making the saying a little more tolerable with her new book, Fired!" -- Jane magazine

"Been canned lately? Take solace from others who've been there in Fired!" -- New York Post -- #1 on the Hot list

"Annabelle Gurwitch's new book will make you think twice about getting fired. Seriously . . . Gurwitch created Fired!, a hilarious and often inspiring collection of stories . . . the punch line is that failure never stopped anyone from having success. And if that makes you feel warm and gooey inside, then so be it." -- Zink magazine

"Huffman and various other well known names -- including Andy Borowitz, Larry David and Patricia Heaton -- share stories of their humiliation in this comic compendium." -- Daily News (New York)

"People need to hear these stories. It's the best kind of comedy -- rooted in empathy and with a serious point." -- Cox News Service

"A frank and funny look at job loss and downsizing." -- The Associated Press

"She has turned her misfortune into an entertainment most of us can identify with." -- Hollywood Reporter

"A comedic twist -- to all those who have been advised by a boss that their services are no longer required." -- The Aspen Times

"Droll humor with a dash of celebrity; the cream of that crop is gathered in this star-studded collection of misery." -- Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (February 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743289854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743289856
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,778,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you're a regular person who got fired from normal full-time job looking to get inspiration or find the humor from others suffering the same, this book is not for you. This book is mostly collection of anecdotes from show biz people, people who are routinely unemployed between gigs for whom getting hired and fired is a huge fact of life. So...cute stories, a good light read. There's still an opportunity out there for someone to really write this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Some books are a like a fine four-course meal. You take your time. You appreciate every bite. You savor each delectable mouthful. When it is over, you feel like you've had an experience.

Some books are like comfort food. They fill you up and make you feel good inside. You crave more, and they make you feel better when you are feeling down.

Some books are like candy bars. They are sweet, easy to eat and gone in no time.

This book was a candy bar.

Now don't get me wrong -- I LOVE candy bars. (I love them a lot.) I gobbled this book up in record time and felt a little guilty about it because it wasn't real "good" for me -- just like when I eat a candy bar. These are the type of books I read after "coming down" from a four-course meal book like The Economist Book of Obituaries.

Now I know the title may sound a bit ominous or depressing. "A book about people losing their jobs. In this economy. I don't think so. That sounds like the last thing I want to think about." But you should know that the people who lost their jobs in this book are some of the best comedy writers, comedians and actors/actresses in the business. So their tales of losing their jobs are just downright funny and amusing. Did I mention that some of the contributors include Tim Allen, Andy Borowitz, Bill Maher, Bob Saget, D.L. Hughley, Harry Shearer, David Cross, Morgan Spurlock, Felicity Huffman, Patricia Heaton, Anne Meara, Judd Apatow, Andy Dick, Matt Walsh, Jeff Garlin, Paul F. Tompkins, Tate Donovan? I'm sure you've seen some of these names somewhere. The ones you might not be familiar with write for, act in or produce such little shows like The Simpsons, Late Night With Conan O'Brien, The Daily Show, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
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Format: Hardcover
Nothing is worse than getting fired. (okay, some things are) But this collection of stories by people who've been pink slipped is hilarious. They were all smart enough and creative enough to turn their experiences from dross into gold. Andy Borowitz is wonderfully funny about being on the staff of the sit-com "Facts of Life". Ad agency head Joyce Beber tells about what it's like being terminated by the Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley (3 times). Martha McCulley was axed for no apparent reason (or because she was too good!) from a major fashion magazine. How do these things happen? Writer Annabelle Gurwitch asseses the phenomenon, brings in facts, statistics, even Robert Reich to speak to the issue. It's a wonderful book. The only reason you put it down is because you're laughing too much.
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Format: Hardcover
As a teen, I was fired from my job as deep-fry cook at Kentucky Fried Chicken for failure to adequately clean out the grease-traps. I have carried this mortifying secret with me for years, and after reading FIRED!, I am emboldened to share it with the world.

As for FIRED!, I should quickly point out that virtually all of the book's 50-plus entries about being canned are by successful show-biz types. Thus, their stories are generally atypical of the workplace experience. So if you're looking for hardcore blue-collar stories, this ain't the place; the author you're looking for is Studs Terkel.

But can these show-biz types write? Surprisingly, yes, most of them can. There are a few duds in here (I don't have the heart to dis them in this review), but most entries have a smile in store for you, and some are "LOL," as we hipsters say. Of interest to me was the fact that, due to the editor's National Public Radio association, there are a number of NPR contributors herein, among whom Sandra Tsing Loh distinguishes herself nicely.

As pointed out elsewhere on this reviews page, this book's highest ambition is to be a book of amusing trifles and anecdotes, and it succeeds on its own terms. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a grease-trap that needs tending. (And no, I am not speaking metaphorically.)
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Format: Hardcover
Even though I wrote a story for this book, I CAN BE OBJECTIVE because my contribution is only two pages. (The best two pages, by the way.)

Anyway, this book is a PERFECT gift for any friend or coworker who has just been fired and is not thrilled to bits about it. (The last job I was fired from, I WAS thrilled to bits because I had already taken another job and was facing the prospect of "calling in sick" until all my sick days were used up, but that's another story for another book.)

Anyway, this might also be a great gift for employers to give out as a parting gift to the employees they are about to fire. "Fired!" will make your fired employees feel like they have finally joined the ranks of the Truly Talented and Funny people who have fired stories to tell - and it might make you feel as if you have given them a promotion instead of a kick in the pants, so it's a win-win kind of gift.

This book will help the fired feel as if they are in good company (FABulous people have written their Fired! stories in this book!) and that they can overcome the firing to be happy, productive and funny people, with a good story to tell -- which is what life is all about anyway, right?
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